Secret Places, Secret England

And above all, 
watch with glittering 
eyes the whole
world around you
because the greatest
SECRETS are always
hidden in the most
unlikely places.
Those who don't
BELIEVE in magic
will never find it.
Roald Dahl

A little dove rested on our mango coloured ledge the other day and watched me as I typed away at my desk. It sat there as if in a trance, staring at me. I stopped typing and stared back..we watched each other intently until she took flight.  I took a snap with a feeling my little encounter would lead me somewhere and it did...
I started to think of secret places and secret spaces, the kind we would have imagined as a child, the ones we create as an adult. A place to dream. Seeing the bird perched on my balcony reminded me  of the book/movie The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. In the book, the character, Mary, is lead to an abandoned yet enchanted garden by an intuitive bird, a robin. Within the walls of the garden, Mary and her friends find a sanctuary, a respite from the world,
a place to catch their dreams.

You probably have guessed where I am going with this...I you have a secret place or a secret space where you like to go and dream?

Painshill Park in Cobham, Surrey

Do you dream walking down a country lane?

Around Polesden Lacey in Great Bookham, Surrey

or perhaps en route to a high tower?

Claremont Gardens in Esher, Surrey

Do your dreams roll with the sound of the waves along a beach?

Seven Sisters Country Park in Exceat, East Sussex

Do you have a special place, maybe a cottage tucked away for quiet contemplation?

Around Polesden Lacey in Great Bookham, Surrey

Do you dream around a country estate?

Walking in Richmond-upon-Thames in Surrey.

or on a bike ride along a wooded path?

Litteworth Common in Esher, Surrey

Do you dream while walking along city streets or by chance along the River Thames?

Along the Thames, London

Perhaps your dreams flourish while sitting on a garden bench?

Sissinghurst Castle in Cranbrook, Kent

 or maybe under an arch of cherry blossoms?

Esher in springtime, Surrey

I once dreamed with Henry Moore...

Scotney Castle in Tunbridge Wells, Kent

 in an English country garden.

Finchcock Musical Museum in Goudhurst, Kent

Earlier in the week, I wrote about an expats doors and windows here.

Scotney Castle in Tunbridge Wells, Kent

It's all about how you use them to set yourself right.

Scotney Castle in Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Can you tell I am a bit of a dreamer?
I like to think it is the Irish in me that takes me there.

I could keep dreaming but I will let you go...
only hoping that you might tell me your favourite 
place to go and catch a dream.

Polesden Lacey in Great Bookham, Surrey

Wishing you a weekend filled with dreams 
and beautiful music. To get you started..

Mary's The Secret Garden

and the music of a Rascal and a Sparrow.

Listen NPR.... here

Jeanne xx

All photos taken by me whilst living in England.


  1. Dear Jeanne: Thank you very much for sharing your beautiful photographs. Those enchanting places and spaces took me to a higher plane, where nature and dreaming come together. In the past few years, I have noticed that I have some of my best daydreams in my own backyard. There is a particular mulberry tree that I simply cannot get enough of. I rotate my rocking chair around to face the sliding glass doors, light a candle, sometimes put Yo Yo Ma on the stereo; sometimes there is silence. My mind, heart and soul craves nature to mediate and to daydream. I have always been a daydreamer. It must be the Italian in me. ; ) That particular tree is a strong one with some roots popping up through the green ferns. She shows her finery in the Springtime with a beautiful spray of raspberry-colored flowers. And in the winter, I get to see its actual shape, with branches reaching towards the sky in many directions.
    I love your blog; your words dance like flowers on a well written page. Combined with your photos, you have created a wonderful environment for daydreaming... And I thank you.

    1. Kathleen...a mulberry tree, a rocking chair, Yo Yo Ma..and the Italian in you, I love it all. Even better that this all happens in your backyard. You have created your own personal sanctuary...the very best kind. You are so kind with your a fellow daydreamer, I send you best wishes for the weekend. Dream big! xx

  2. Jeanne, Thank you so much for sharing. I so enjoy your blog.

    1. You are very welcome Cathy...thank you for reading! ;)

  3. I absolutely love everyone of your shots. Well done.

    1. Thank you Kim...I had a feeling you might like them, they remind me of your recent travels.. ;)

  4. Down the street from Prince Charles????Think I will go re-think my backyard…….and front as well!

    1. I am sure yours is beautiful La Contessa...and all YOU! ;)

  5. Hi Jeanne, I think you must miss England? Well, I certainly miss England from this post. That pigeon watching you write was fascinating. It must have visited you for a reason. We don't know why? As for me, I dream when I do my morning walk or when I'm in London. I know that sound weird but my head seems clearer when I'm in London than over here in Toronto. Take me there to London now.

    1. I totally get that Pamela..going to a place where everything becomes clearer. I can think of a few places like that..very special when I am there. :)

  6. Fun game :) I recognize Painshill, Claremont, and London. Hmm, I don't recognize the garden shots. Autumn colors are still holding here, with Christmas lights being hung on the high streets now :) It is a lovely time of year! The cold and frost is settling in too. xo

    1. Is there any place better than London at Christmas Laura? I hear you are in for a very snowy winter ...maybe another white Christmas? Enjoy!

  7. I loved these images, Jeanne, and I might have to try to sketch a few of them... My memory of places to dream include those dusty library stacks from my college days, which I fear now may becoming extinct with so many books on the internet. And there was a special corner in my childhood home, under a table and directly in front of the heating register, where I spent many hours with a journal in hand and dreams in my heart.

    1. I would love it if you could sketch one Teri..if you do, please send me a pic! Speaking of dreams...I think your blog represents all that you cherished in your have extended it. Your artwork speaks for itself...magical.. xx

  8. Ah ha - Scotney and Seven Sisters are definitely on the list. Always so much to squeeze into springtime! Love the perspective of you on the bike :)

  9. Jeanne, I love this beautiful post. You invite us along to dream with you...and it's a joy. Thank you. And keep dreaming.

  10. Meandering, a dream-stroll, going to no particular places, but sometimes I want to walk to a sanctuary of stillness, for contemplation like during a spiritual retreat, I attended a week before.

    Here at home walking along Napa River refreshes.

    Read the book but have not seen the movie.

    Thank you for the beautiful photos and wonderful places.
    and music and a glimpse of The Secret Garden.


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